Sociology Index

Sociology of Family

Sociology of family is concerned with Family, Marriage, Children, Sociology of children and childhood and Parenting, and other forms of close relationships. Sociology of family studies the social, cultural, political and economic impacts of changing families. Contemporary society is changing rapidly and we are seeing some relatively new forms emerge. The "ideal image" of two biological parents and children living in harmony, is not realistic anymore. The family has many forms, therefore sociology of family must include the two-parent family, single-parent family, blended family, same-sex family and adoptive family. As an insitution family socializes individuals to be productive members of society.

Family has within its boundaries a set of norms, values, social status, and roles which are organized or designed to guide or meet specific goals for the overall society. As a social group, the focus is on each  individual members of the family in question. What each person brings to the family and how each person contributes to the relationships with other individuals in the family determines the reality within each family. Everyone looks to his family for guidance, support, and a sense of belonging. Family is the most important social institution as it is our first encounter with socialization processes. As a social system, the family is viewed as an entity which consists of various interrelated parts or statuses that perform particular functions or roles. Further, the family as a system is part of a larger system or society and contributes to its functioning.

There are growing numbers of so-called "variant family forms" in society. The family has many forms, like the two-parent family, single-parent family, blended family, same-sex family and adoptive family. Whether we examine the family as an institution, system, or group, studies in sociology of family begins with a fascination of the family entity and the relationships within its boundaries. One of the big issues or challenges within sociology of family studies lies in its definition.

BOURGEOIS FAMILY
This family type is centred on private homelife, the relationship of the couple and their children and based on a clear division of gender roles, with men as chief income earners and women centred in the domestic world of home and family. For many conservatives this remains the ideal form of family.

CONJUGAL FAMILY
A nuclear family of adult partners and their children where the family relationship is principally focused inwardly and ties to extended kin are voluntary and based on emotional bonds, rather than strict duties and obligations.

CONSANGUINEAL FAMILY
A family system of nuclear families linked through shared descent from a common ancestor. Consanguineal families can be linked either matrilineally or patrilineally.

EGALITARIAN FAMILY
A family system based on the equality of the participants and in direct contrast to the patriarchal family. In North American families this family form is most likely to be found among young and well-educated couples.

NUCLEAR FAMILY
This has the same composition as the conjugal family, but the term ‘nuclear’ does not imply that the family is inwardly focused and relatively autonomous from extended kin as in the case of the conjugal family.

Sociology of Family Abstracts

Critical Feminist Pedagogy and Sociology of the Family Courses - Hirshfield, Laura. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Abstract: As a feminist scholar and educator, I am committed to using feminist pedagogical methods. However, the unique nature of the course I teach, Marriage and the Family, poses difficulties for instructors wishing to adhere to the tenets of critical feminist pedagogy.

Family Leisure and Changing Ideologies of Parenthood
By Susan M. Shaw, University of Waterloo (January 2008)
Abstract: Examines the significant role that family leisure plays in family life, and the ways in which family time, family activities, and family vacations reflect and contribute to changing ideologies of parenthood. Research on this topic has shown family leisure to be a parental commitment, organized and constructed for the benefit of children and for the family as a whole.

Matrimonial Property in Europe: A Link Between Sociology and Family Law
Branka Rešetar, Vol 12.3 ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW
This article questions the justification of the system of community of property in the context of the current notion of marriage and de facto relations between spouses in Europe, with the primary goal of the community of property from the first half of the 20th century as its starting point, i.e., the correction of the de facto inequality of men and women in society.

Soft ideas and hard methods: family sociologist or social psychologist? Stryker, Sheldon
Publisher: Haworth Press, Inc.
Article Abstract: The author examines his undergraduate and graduate education, which helped influence his interest in family sociology and ultimately led to his becoming a family sociologist/psychologist.

Children in Family Sociology Texts: United States and Sweden. The Wisconsin Sociologist. Volume 24, number 1 (winter 1987)
Abstract: Textbooks from the US & Sweden (N = 18) are examined to determine how family sociologists deal with children when writing for a College reading public. Textbook writers appear to be adult-oriented & -positive, presenting dating & spousal relations & interaction in a generally favorable light, & parent-child relations & interaction in an unfavorable one.

On the sociology of family - SIMMEL G. ; RITTER M. ; FRISBY D
Theory, culture & society ISSN 0263-2764
Abstract: In this article on the sociology of family, Simmel locates the study of the family within contemporary sociology. Utilizing current ethnographic material, Simmel seeks to counter simple evolutionary assumptions about the development of the family emerged, in favour of recognition of the variety of its early forms.

Family Panels to Build a Sociological Perspective on Work-Family Connections
Authors: Michael Gortari, Erik Schwinger, Rebecca M. Thomas, and Clayton D. Peoples, University of Nevada, Reno.
Abstract: The relationship between work and family is crucial, and conveying this is one of the key tasks of teaching sociological perspectives on the family. But conveying this reality can be difficult given that directly demonstrating family life situations in the classroom is very difficult.

Books On Sociology of Family

Sociology of Families Book by David M. Newman, Elizabeth Grauerholz.

The Sociology of Family: A Reader Book by Graham A. Allan, Graham Allan (Editors).

Sociology of Families : Readings Book by Cheryl Albers (Editor).

Early Sociology of Family (Making of Sociology) Book by Bryan S. Turner (Editor).

Sociology of Family: Investigating Family Issues Lee D. Millar Bidwell, Brenda J. Vander Mey.

Kinship and social organisation (The early sociology of family) Book by W. H. R Rivers.